HURON, S.D. – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley kicked off National Homeownership Month by highlighting USDA’s ongoing role to help residents of America’s small towns and cities purchase homes in rural areas.

“Homeownership provides a strong foundation for hard-working people to build household wealth and climb the ladder of prosperity,” Baxley said. “By helping rural Americans achieve the dream of homeownership, USDA is supporting benefits that extend far beyond the home, resulting in stronger, more prosperous rural communities.”

USDA Single Family Housing programs have served more than 4.4 million families in rural America since President Truman signed the Housing Act in 1949. Throughout June, USDA employees will celebrate National Homeownership Month with events across the Nation that demonstrate USDA’s commitment to provide access to affordable housing for rural Americans.

Rural Development has several programs in South Dakota that support rural homeownership, including:

• Direct home loans for very-low and low-income applicants. Borrowers who qualify for the program, may qualify for payment assistance that can assist with their monthly payment.

• The 504 Home Repair Program provides 1% loans for very-low income families to make repairs to their homes.

• The 504 Home Repair Program provides small grants for seniors, 62 or over, to help them improve access to their homes and remove health and safety hazards such as poor wiring or plumbing.

• Guaranteed home loans for low-to moderate income rural homebuyers with zero down payment required. Partnerships with private-sector lenders allow rural families to buy modest homes and is the key to opening up private-sector homeownership opportunities.

In FY18, USDA’s Rural Home Loan programs in South Dakota invested nearly $162.4 million in home loans for 1,085 South Dakota families to buy a home of their own and provided $330,965 in home repair funds to 36 very low-income residents. Of the loan funds, $151.3 million was in the form of loan guarantees to private lenders to support mortgage activity in rural areas.

With offices in Aberdeen, Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton, USDA Rural Development staff can help homebuyers understand application procedures for both the Direct Home Loan and Guaranteed Rural Home Loan programs. Information online at www.rd.usda.gov/sd or call (605) 937-4782.

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